Thursday, March 28, 2013

Tangy Lemon Bars

I love a good tangy lemon bar, so when I found this recipe, I thought it was definitely something I needed to try!  The recipe is from Alice Medrich's book, Pure Dessert, and according to Ms. Medrich, a food critic at one point claimed that these bars were "too sour".  Too sour?  Definitely sounds perfect to me, as I like my lemon treats to be very lemon-y.

Very Tangy Lemon Bars
adapted from Pure Desserts

7 TB unsalted butter, melted
2 TB sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour

1 cup + 2 TB sugar
3 TB all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained

Preheat oven to 350.  Line the inside of an 8x8-inch baking pan with foil or parchment, or butter the inside of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. 

Crust:  In a medium bowl, combine first 4 crust ingredients (all except flour).  Add the flour and mix until just combined.  Spread the dough evenly in the bottom of the pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the crust is browned at the edges and golden in the center.  Turn the oven down to 300F.

Topping:  Start the topping while the crust bakes.  Stir together the sugar and flour.  Whisk in the eggs.  Add lemon juice and lemon zest and stir until combined. 

When the crust is finished baking (and still in the oven), slide out the oven rack, pour the filling on top of the hot crust and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the center no longer jiggles.  Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before slicing.  If the top comes out looking a bit frothy, gently blot it with a paper towel.  Slice with a sharp knife into 16 large squares or 25 smaller squares, or whatever size you wish.  Dust the top with powdered sugar if you wish.

NOTE:  If using Meyer lemons, reduce the sugar in the topping to 1/2 cup plus 2 TB.
Printable Recipe

I used Meyer lemons and found that the recipe was not tart enough for me.  I think it is an issue of me preferring regular tart lemons to Meyer lemons, nothing about this recipe.  Reviews of this recipe claim that it is wonderfully tart, so I will definitely make it again with regular tart lemons. 

Give it a shot!

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